Saturday, December 3rd
When you live in Maine, it takes at least 13 hours, door to door, to get anyplace with a warm climate. I don’t care if it’s California or Bermuda or Miami or the British Virgin Islands. Things will conspire to make your travel exactly 13 hours. Knowing is half the battle.
One nice surprise Heather and I had yesterday was a detoured flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Instead of flying straight to Tortola in the little 8 seat Cessna, we made a stop on Virgin Gorda’s dirt runway, a first for me. It was an exciting approach, the pilot banking a turn around a hilltop, then straightening out to land on the seaside strip. Our Italian travel mates were as exhilarated as we were, and the island vibe blanketed everyone as we stepped off the plane.
The flight from Virgin Gorda to Tortola’s Beef Island airport was exactly 5 minutes and 30 seconds, into a setting sun. Our man on the ground, Albert, was waiting for us in his hot rod custom van. He delivers us wherever we need to go, picks up and drops off our guests, and keeps our “island phone” charged and topped off with minutes and data. On the way from the airport to the marina, Albert stopped at a local restaurant to grab some takeout for his wife Iris: goat head soup. I’m an adventurous eater, and will have to try some at the end of this trip.
Village Cay Marina is the meetup spot for our BVI trip, and also happens to have a nice little bar and restaurant. We quickly found our third guide Will Thomas, sipping a beer at a waterfront table. Will has been with SwimVacation from the very start, back in 2008. Our first guests appeared, some old friends, some new. We’ll meet them all tomorrow. We texted Cap’n Ken, Promenade’s new owner, and he came to pick us up in the dinghy.
I’ve missed this boat. We met crew members Erica and Chris, had a beer, and let the harbor waves rock us all to sleep.